- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—VALDOSTA — Lowndes County’s 911 Center received the Gold Standard with Excellence Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

The award lasts three years and is the highest CALEA honor presented to a law-enforcement agency

Danny Weeks, Lowndes County 911 director, traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., during the weekend to accept the award.

“This is so important to our entire community, and this involves everybody, from the support we get from you to the county manager for my entire staff, our accreditation manager, all the local public-safety agencies we serve. It takes everybody’s involvement to make this happen,” Weeks said to the Lowndes County Commission Monday during its work session.

Weeks said accreditation assists the 911 center legally.

“Most attorneys, once they find out an agency is CALEA-accredited, will not even take you to court, because everything we do has already been court-tested, and it shows we’re doing things right,” Weeks said.

Weeks detailed what the 911 Center does to achieve accreditation.

“There are 219 standards that cover everything from our hiring practices right on to purchasing practices right on to our day-to-day operation,” Weeks said. “CALEA comes out every three years, and we have to go through this re-assessment process. They come on site and go through all of our standards. You can’t just say you do something, but you have to have documentation showing that you carry on your business that way.”

Weeks said CALEA came on site in April, and found nearly no faults with the 911 center’s operations.

“We had no file maintenance issues, we had no applied discretions, it was as near to a perfect on-site inspection as you can have,” Weeks said.

Weeks explained employees were interviewed in the process to ensure they are familiar with how the 911 center does business.

“They actually interview employees and make sure they are familiar with our policies and they ask them on a day-to-day basis if this is actually how we do business,” Weeks said. “You’re really opening your self up. Your entire staff, from top to bottom, has to know exactly what’s going on within this program, and be able to prove this is how we do our daily business.”

Sixty employees were interviewed, Weeks said, with only one expressing a complaint — that no daycare services were provided, and people were required to work on off days.

This is the fifth time the 911 center has earned accreditation.


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